I want it to be fall here, and it is not. It is stubbornly equatorial Kenyan weather, gorgeous in its own right, but not quite what I’m after.
This is the part of the show where I miss home, and I don’t even know where, exactly, I mean by that. Home is the slivers of memory, pressed clear like glass, of all the places and people woven into my bones.
Like this: I’m seven or maybe eight or ten, standing in a blackened night thick with stars. Light pools from the open glass doors of the rec center where my church folk are gathered in the after-nativity crush of red punch and cookies and shepherds’ robes.
And this: The kids are squealing about snow, Mom! and so we wriggle into fat coats and mittens. They hop around the yard like chickadees, the sky falling white around us.
Or this: I’m propped on a step-stool in my grandma’s kitchen, leaning over caramel pots, dipping apples with skin as bright as Christmas. The farm outside stings with cold, but we are sock-toed and washed in contentment.
Home is a funny concept, all at once sharp and slippery, piercing and hazy. For years now, the mister and I have asked each other, And now? If you were to be buried now, where would it be? Because morbid though it is, that is maybe the quick and painful test for Where Is Home. But neither of us can ever make sense of it—so many places feel right, and everywhere is wrong. These days I can’t even settle on a continent.
But here’s what I know. As much as our hearts can be sojourners, wandering through a world both dark and miraculous, there is a just-right home ahead with the One who authored the earth. And all these places and people of kinship along the way are just echoes, shadows of Home, whispers that light my blood with a keen longing for a place I’ve yet to see.
That’s missions in a nutshell. Existence in a nutshell. Kindling weary hearts with a flare for our Father, trudging desert ground together, all the while pointing the dusty way back to our King.